Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) chief K Sivan said on Thursday, June 25, that the Central Government's decision to open up the space sector to private enterprises will enable the Indian industry to be an important player in the global space economy.
Sivan also said ISRO will also share its technological expertise with the private parties.
In an online address from Bengaluru, the Isro chief said, "If space sector is opened for pvt enterprises, potential of entire country can be utilised to scale up benefits from space technology. It'll not only result in accelerated growth of sector but also enable Indian industry to be important player in global space economy."
K Sivan continued to say that with this, there is an opportunity for large scale employment in the technology sector and India becoming a global technology powerhouse.
"Department of Space will promote sector space activities to enable it to provide end to end space services, including building & launching of rockets & satellites as well as providing space-based services on commercial basis," Sivan said.
Sivan further added, "Space sector, where India is among handful of countries with advanced space technology,can play significant role in boosting industrial base of India. Govt's decided to implement reformed measures to leverage ISRO's achievement by opening space sector for pvt enterprises."
IN-SPACe to be separate vertical
The newly-created Indian National Space Promotion and Authorisation Centre (IN-SPACe), part of space sector reforms aimed at bringing in private sector participation, will be a separate vertical under the Department of Space (DOS), the ISRO Chairman said.
The Department of Space comes under the PMO.
Sivan also said a new Navigation Policy is also being proposed. Suitable changes in Remote Sensing Data Policy, as well as SATCOM policy, are also on the anvil as a part of aligning them to an open and inclusive space sector.
Sivan said the IN-SPACe as a separate vertical for permitting and regulating the activities of private industry in the space sector.
He said IN-SPACe will have its own directorates for technical, legal, safety and security, monitoring as well as activities promotion for assessing the private sector's needs and further coordination of the activities.
As to its structure Sivan said IN-SPACe will have a board and will have representatives from industry, academia and the government.
On Wednesday (June 24), the Union Cabinet under the Chairmanship of Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave its nod for the setting up of IN-SPACe to promote private sector participation in the space sector while making ISRO to focus on research and development (R&D) of new technologies, exploration missions and human spaceflight programme.
According to the government, IN-SPACe will also provide a level playing field for private companies to use Indian space infrastructure.
The entry of the private sector in the space sector in a bigger way will create large job opportunities and prevent brain drain, the government said.
Sivan said the major reform measure is to enable the private sector including academia to carry out end-to-end space activities viz, building of rockets and satellites, owning satellites, providing launch services and providing space based services on a commercial basis.
According to Sivan, there was a need for a mechanism to allow the private sector taking into account the safety, security and also provide the ease of doing business.
He said private sector players will apply to IN-SPACe and the latter will process the application and its decision is binding on ISRO.
Private sector can send their applications to DOS
While it will take about 3-6 months for IN-SPACe to be in place, the private sector can send their applications to DOS.
As regards NewSpace India Ltd (NSIL), a public sector unit under DOS, Sivan said its role is being re-defined to transform the approach of supply driven model to demand driven model for space based services.
Sivan said NSIL will be strengthened and empowered to off-load operational activities of ISRO in the areas of launch vehicle and satellite production, launch services as well as space based services.
The NSIL will execute these activities through industry consortiums.
Sivan said this move will allow ISRO to allocate more time and resources for R&D endeavours.
The ISRO will continue to carry out its present activities with greater emphasis on development of advanced technology, missions and capacity building besides supporting private endeavours in space sector.
(With agency inputs)